Types of Nonprofits in South Africa

Edij Opidal

Edij Opidal

types of nonprofits
types of nonprofits

Nicknamed the Rainbow nation, South Africa is a country with a vibrant culture and an amazing landscape. But this article has less to do with the topography and more to with Nonprofits in South Africa.  There are various types of Nonprofits in South Africa and this article gives an overview of them.

How are Nonprofit organizations Defined in South Africa?
Primarily, Nonprofits are entities that don’t make a profit from the work of the organization. Their purpose is to serve the public instead of that of the people that run or own it. Nonprofits exist for the benefit of the general public or specific sections of the public. In South Africa, if you receive payment as an administrator of a nonprofit organization, it is only in the form of a reasonable salary and benefits. All of the profits of a nonprofit are used by the organization to make an impact on the public, per the stated goal/mission of the nonprofit.


Different Types of NonProfit Organizations in South Africa.

1.Voluntary association: The voluntary association is the most popular type of noprofit in South Africa. Forming a voluntary association only requires that three or more people agree to achieve a common objective that is primarily not for profit.

2.Non Profit Trusts: . In South Africa, a trust can be established for private benefit or for a charitable purpose. To determine whether a trust qualifies as a charitable trust under South African law, a grant maker must look to the trust deed.

3. Not for Profit Companies:These are entities that are set up to assist people, guard the environment or to lobby for some good cause. For example this can include charities, cultural or religious organizations. The main objective of a Not for Profit corporation is to benefit the public: not to make profit.

How to Register Your NonProfit Organization:

  1. You need founding documents for your NPO
    • A Trust deed (if your organization is a Trust)
    • A constitution, if your organization is a Voluntary Association.
    • An MOI (Memorandum of Incorporation) if your organization is registered as a Not for Profit corporation.
  2. Once you have your founding documents, register online here: http://www.npo.gov.za/PublicNpo/WebApplicationCase/Register
  3. Complete the application form here: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/text/2018/June/application_form_npos_0.pdf
  4. Ensure you have 2 copies of your NPO founding documents
  5. Submit the application form and founding documents via email to Npoenquiry@dsd.gov.za or the relevant NPO directorate office in your locale.



If you run any kind of nonprofit organization in South Africa, your organization will automatically fall under the Non-Profit Organizations Act (NPO Act). Any organization classified as a nonprofit organization under the Non-Profit Organizations Act can choose whether to register with the Non-Profit Organization Directorate of the Department of Social Development. But note- it is mandatory for some types of NPOs to register under other laws, whether or not they register with the Department of Social Development. These laws set the precedence for what must be covered by the founding document of your organization.

We hope you enjoyed this post on the various types of NPOs in South Africa. If you enjoyed this article but still have questions for us, please share your questions with us at the bottom of this article.


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